PACC’s Belgica says colleague’s call to probe Robredo’s COVID-19 aid “a personal opinion”

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020   •   1521

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) commissioner and Spokesperson Greco Belgica on Thursday clarified that the call of one of his colleagues to probe Vice President Leni Robredo’s fund drive and relief operations amid the COVID-19 crisis was just “his personal opinion.”

In a statement, Belgica said Commissioner Manuelito Luna’s statement calling on the National Bureau of Investigation to prove Robredo for allegedly competing with the government’s efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 “was a personal opinion,” and “does not reflect the body’s sentiments.

“PACC is not asking anyone to investigate VP Leni Robredo. On the other hand, we are grateful to everyone who is helping the frontliners and the needy, including the VP,” he said.

“This is not the time for politicking. We are not concerned with any personality.  Our main concern is to make sure all the needy Filipinos get all the help they need the President promised,” he added.

He also said that the government’s immediate concern right now is to end the coronavirus pandemic, save lives, and rebuild the country and the lives of people after the crisis ends.

“Magtulungan po tayo. Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tumutulong pati ang hindi lumalabas ng bahay. Tayo po ay nakakatulong sa ating pagsunod,” he said.

Robredo’s camp earlier slammed Luna’s statement, calling it “ridiculous” and “inappropriate” amid the COVID-19 threat.

Robredo’s spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez said VP Leni has mobilized groups and organized free transport to help health workers, government institutions, and ordinary Filipinos overcome the challenges they had to face due to the threat of infection.

“Anyone who insists that bringing much-needed assistance to hospitals, health workers, and poor Filipinos is somehow a ‘competition’ has absolutely no understanding of the gravity of the crisis we are all facing,” he said.

He assured that Robredo will continue to do all she can to help those in need in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Opposition coalition 1Sambayan to endorse 7 senatorial bets for 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The opposition coalition 1Sambayan on Wednesday bared the initial list of senatorial candidates it will be endorsing for the May 2022 national and local elections.

In a statement, 1Sambayan said the following personalities will get its support in the upcoming polls:

  • Chel Diokno
  • Leila De Lima
  • Teddy Baguilat
  • Risa Hontiveros
  • Alex Lacson
  • Sonny Matula
  • Antonio Trillanes IV

According to 1Sambayan convenor Atty. Howard Calleja, the coalition will formally announce the endorsement of the full senatorial slate on January 28.

The group is supporting the tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Francis Pangilinan who are running for president and vice president, respectively.

Presidential bets send help to address potable water shortage in Odette-hit areas

Maris Federez   •   December 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirants Isko Moreno, Bongbong Marcos, Manny Pacquiao, and Leni Robredo individually sent assistance to areas severely hit by Typhoon Odette and addressed the problem of not having sufficient drinking water in these areas.

Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso on Monday said he sent a team from the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) to Cebu City to help in the clearing operations in the area and provide clean drinking water with the use of the water filtration machine that the team brought.

MDRRMO Director Arnel Angeles said water tankers went around the city to provide the needs of Cebu City residents for potable water.

Former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, on the other hand, sent gallons of drinking water and filtration kits to the victims of Typhoon Odette.

Marcos noted the importance of filtration kits as residents in the typhoon-hit areas were left without a good source of clean drinking water.

He said this is the same problem that was seen and experienced by his team when they sent help to areas ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

The BBM-Sara tandem promised to continue sending assistance to the areas that were hit by Odette.

Meanwhile, Senator Manny Pacquiao expressed concern over the effects of the shortage of drinking water on the health of the people in the typhoon-ravaged areas.

He said that he has been receiving reports that people in these areas were rendered helpless and just get drinking water from unsafe sources.

Pacquiao said that his team is scouting from suppliers of water filtration systems and portable toilets to be set up in evacuation centers.

Vice President Leni Robredo, in the meantime, said she will send 30 tons of drinking water to the provinces of Cebu and Bohol.

Robredo thanked her volunteers who helped and sent assistance to the typhoon victims. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

COMELEC spox says vote buying a poll offense

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez

MANILA, Philippines – Vote buying is an election offense “regardless of financial situation or noble intentions,” Commission on Elections (COMELEC) spokesperson James Jimenez said Wednesday.

Jimenez made the remark a day after Vice President Leni Robredo said that Filipinos should take the money being offered to them but still vote for their preferred candidate.

Robredo, a presidential aspirant and standard bearer of the opposition for the 2022 elections, on Tuesday said that Filipinos who are offered money in exchange for their vote should accept the money but still vote according to their conscience.

While vote buying is illegal, she said that individuals engaging in such act is hard to apprehend as it is not done in public and the money could now be transferred electronically.

She made the response when asked on the issue of vote buying during a forum with a group of household service workers who support her election bid.

“Lagi kong sinasabi, tanggapin niyo kasi galing sa inyo ‘yan. Pera ‘yan ng taumbayan. Pero iboto mo kung ano ang nasa konsiyensiya mo,” Robredo said.

But Jimenez countered Robredo’s statement.

“I disagree with the notion of taking the money and voting according to your conscience. Vote buying is an election offense regardless of financial situation or noble intentions,” he said.

“Di dapat ginagawa, at di dapat sina-suggest yan sa mga botante,” he added.

Under Omnibus Election Code, vote buying and vote selling are considered as election offense.

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